Khmer New Year
2021/04/19 Mr. Noch Chamroen
Khmer New Year is the traditional festival celebrated in mid of April every year. It is a great time for Cambodian people to gather with our family and friends. People who work abroad or in other provinces return home to celebrate a new year with their family. In this year, the Khmer New Year is on 14, 15, and 16 April 2021. Khmer New Year in Khmer language is called “Chaul Chnam Thmey” which means “Enter the new year”. Among three days of “Chaul Chnam Thmey”, the first day is called “Moha Songkran”, the second day is called “Vara Vannabat” and the third day is called “Vara Loeng Sak”.
In this year, by 16:00 of 14th April is the first day of Khmer New Yea which is called Moha Songkran. It means that the past year was over and we are ready to move to New Year.
Day1 Moha Songkran
People prepare fruits, flowers, candles, incense to welcome new angels of the year. We believe that the New Year angle will come down and receive these kind of fruits and give their blessing to the family members in the whole year.
Day2 Vara Vannabat
People prepare food and offer to the monks at the pagoda. We believe that the monks can send the food to our ancestors who have passed away. Moreover, we also contribute the money to build the physical infrastructures in the pagoda and believe that in the next life, we will be lucky. On this day, people also visit the relatives, then give money, foods and clothes to parents or take time to visit some resorts together.
Day3 Vara Loeng Sak
On the last day of Khmer New Year, people bathe the Buddha statues at the pagoda, and at home we also bathe our parents and grandparents. This activity shows our respect to parents and grandparents and we also ask the forgiveness from parents for any own mistakes from the past.
Veay Kaam is one of the popular traditional games that Cambodian people always play during the Khmer New Year. To play this game, we need 3 or 5 Kaam with flour and small gift inside which can be a souvenir or money. The Kaam was hang on a rope between trees. Then we select a volunteer from the crowded to play this game. The aim of this game is to smash one of the Kaam with a stick while blindfolded. The player follows the direction of the screaming crowd and tries to find the right position to hit the Kaam. When the player hits the Kaam it means she/he wins the game and can get the gift.